QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL
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Beyond Just “Coping” With Change
As a psychologist, speaker, and seminar leader, I’m often asked by individuals and organizations to help them cope with change. While this request is very understandable, it is unfortunately doomed from the start because of the way the request is phrased. You see, in my opinion, coping with something implies getting through the experience with as little damage or discomfort as possible… almost as if your goal is to survive a particularly negative situation.
For those of you familiar with my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy (or how the brain works, in general), you know that when we are trying to survive or avoid something, we are in the “survival” or fight/flight part of the brain. Here our options are limited, and we don’t have access to the knowledge, skills, and confidence we need to deal successfully with change.
Given that change is inevitable, I suggest that we become more proactive and move into change in a more purposeful way. In his book, “The Charge,” author, Brendon Burchard, suggests that we deal with change by both welcoming it, and even causing it. I like this perspective because it puts us in the most influential position possible.
For example, if we think of life as a river, we know that there are going to be calm waters where we can relax and just drift with the current, and there are going to be rapids (change). If we approach the rapids with fear and trepidation, then we will be thrown around and frightened even more by the turbulence. If, on the other hand, we see the rapids as a welcomed change and a place where we want to be as influential as possible, then we can go into them causing change, or using the forward momentum of the river to navigate around rocks and propel ourselves forward.
In life, this means going into meetings and other potentially turbulent interactions looking to define who we are versus being defined by the unstable nature of the conflict. From this place of self-definition, we can then look to influence the direction of the interaction in a way that we believe would be the best for all concerned.
If we are successful, then great! If not, we are still in charge of who we are where we stand. And, from this place of confidence, we can then look to what’s next with anticipation versus anxiety, and welcome the opportunity to influence what happens next.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill